I was 20 when I moved out into my own place. I rented the first floor of an old house on Maryland Street directly beside a hole-in-the-wall restaurant that had a bar and live music. I loved it. Scott Nolan played every Wednesday night. My bus stop was in front of a magnificent old church, I was walking distance from my job, there was a thrift store around the corner and I had the most amazing Indian food close by. I painted my kitchen walls orange and called it home.
Since I didn’t own a set of wheels I made frequent trips to the dingy grocery store at the end of my block. It was always a hit or miss. One particular day I was standing in front of the yogurt section deciding what kind I should buy and if it was within my budget to do so when an audible voice chimed in to my internal debate. “You should buy this one” it said. I turned, rather surprised by the uninvited opinion, to see a middle aged man pointing at the expensive Liberté yogurts. I’d never bought the expensive yogurts. “Have you ever tried this kind?” he asked. The man looked fairly normal for my neighborhood, but that’s not saying much. I lived in the quirky, granola crunchy area of the city which was a stones throw from the inner city, so you never really knew if people were going to hug you or stab you or try to sell you drugs.
“No, I’ve never tried that kind” I offered back, hoping he’d be on his way. “The lemon is the best kind. Really. It’s soooo good. You should buy it.” I picked up the carton, my eyes widened looking at the price. I turned it around in my hand trying to look interested but secretly waiting for him to walk away so I could return to my cheaper yogurt purchasing habits. “Well, I do like lemons.” “You should really try it. I promise you’ll love it.” I hummed and hawed. “You know what? I’m not going to leave here until you buy it.” I looked at him. He was completely serious. This man, right here standing beside me, this total stranger was going to force me to buy Lemon Liberté yogurt against my will. I held the carton for a moment debating if I should just drop my basket and run. Was he some kind of weirdo with a yogurt fetish? That didn’t seem like a far fetched idea with how excited he was becoming trying to get me to buy the damn thing. I was looking particularly cute that day in my pink jacket. Maybe he was trying to hit on me in the most bizarre way known to man. Maybe this was his pick-up line? On the other hand, I did really love yogurt and now I was curious about why a total stranger was so excited about it. I decided the best course of action was to put it in my basket to appease him. My yogurt stranger looked victorious. I thought that maybe I could just ditch it when he walked away but, no, he held to his word. I proceeded to the checkout, the man close behind, and I bought the yogurt. He went on his merry way as soon as we were done with an enthusiastic “Enjoy!” I left the grocery store reluctantly, hoping he wasn’t around a corner. I’ve had a stalker before and it’s no fun. But thankfully he was gone.
I walked home baffled by what just transpired. Once inside, with my door locked, I started laughing.
Then I tried the yogurt. Immediately the clouds parted and a chorus of birds began to sing. I realized that this man was no mere mortal, he had been sent by the gods to open my eyes to outrageously priced greek style yogurt. It rocked my world. And still does to this day. I often buy it as a treat and my children know if they touch it there will be hell to pay.
So now I ask you, have you tried it? I promise you’ll love it!